Results course “Embedded Systems”
Single project 2/17

TellMe is a simple device that makes it easier or even possible for people with visual impairments or lack of concentration to access information in text form. It consists of a camera and a button that, when pressed, reads the text in the camera’s field of view over Bluetooth headphones or speakers in the vicinity. In order to enable especially physically impaired users to operate, TellMe was designed as a fixed device whose camera can be additionally aligned with a mobile arm

Writing and text is omnipresent in our everyday life. Whether in newspaper articles and books, on posters and signs, on websites and in apps, or simply on a paper note – we encounter writing everywhere as the first means of providing information. Consequently, the ability to read is fundamental to being a well informed member of society in our information-driven world.

Being limited in this ability means to be limited in one’s independence. It is therefore important to eliminate this deficit.

TellMe was developed to facilitate access to the world of information for people who are systematically disadvantaged because of physical or mental disabilities in the form of visual impairment or lack of concentration.

TellMe is used to photograph and read texts of all kinds. The device consists of a housing on which a button and a moveable arm with a camera is installed. Bluetooth headphones or speakers are additionally required for its use.

When the user presses the button, the camera takes a photo and stores it on the Rasberry Pi installed in the case of the device. It uses Google Vision API to identify the font on the captured image and converts it into text form. It does not matter, if the text is in the middle or at the edge of the captured area. It can be sideways, even upside down or handwritten. If human-readable text is in the image area, TellMe will recognize it reliably.

The recognized text is translated into speech by Google Text-to-Speech and sent as an audio file to a Bluetooth-connected output device for playback.

More details about the project can be found in the wiki of the HRW FabLab:

“Embedded Systems” was developed as part of the Emscher-Lippe-hoch-4 project.
On the project website of Emscher-Lippe-hoch-4 you will find more detailed information about the project as well as an overview of all results from “Embedded Systems”:

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